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Nigel Whitehead
Nigel Whitehead
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Santa Maria Man Killed in DUI Collision

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KSBY is reporting that on Friday night an 83 year-old man, Walt Williams, was killed when an SUV driven by a suspected drunk driver crossed over into William’s lane, hitting him head-on. The 27 year-old driver of the SUV was critically injured in the wreck. According to a friend, Mark Payne , Williams was vibrant man, with many interests and even more friends.

Anytime a loved one is killed it is a tragedy for family and friends. It seems, however, that there is an even a deeper hurt when the accident was avoidable. An accident caused by a drunk driver is the result of a choice made to drink and drive. Call a cab, a friend, walk, use a designated driver – anything to avoid driving drunk.

There are numerous private and public entities devoted to stopping drunk driving. Perhaps best known is MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) The National Highway Safety Administration recently presented its annual safety awards to those devoted to promoting highway safety. One of the recipients was Robert Crane, M.D., chair of MADD. In fact, the NHTSA has an entire division devoted to stopping impaired driving.

Drunk driving is a crime in every state. In California the legal limit for drunk driving is a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08%. Despite the laws drunk driving statistics remain frightening. The NHTSA reports that today 34% of all fatal highway accidents involved at least one driver with a BAC greater that .08%. This number is down from over 50% in the 1980’s but it is still far too high.

Please do your part. Make wise choices. Stop a friend from driving drunk. Report suspected drunk drivers to law enforcement.

Forget .08%. Think of another percentage – 34% of all highway deaths involve a drunk driver. That’s a number that should sober up any drunk driver.